Wednesday, August 2, 2017

It was 'Sickly Lineup Wednesday' at Guaranteed Rate Field

J.A. Happ
We have entered what I believe will be the darkest days of White Sox's rebuild -- from now until the end of the 2017 season. The roster is depleted through both trades and injuries, and the South Siders will be outmanned in every game they play for the rest of the year.

That's going to be true even against other also-rans such as the Toronto Blue Jays, who took two out of three from the Sox this week at Guaranteed Rate Field. The Jays beat the Sox, 5-1, on Wednesday, and it would have been embarrassing for Toronto had it not won.

Take a look at the sickly Sox lineup trotted out there against Toronto starter J.A. Happ:

1. Tim Anderson, SS
2. Tyler Saladino, 3B
3. Jose Abreu, 1B
4. Kevan Smith, C
5. Nick Delmonico, LF
6. Leury Garcia, RF
7. Yolmer Sanchez, 2B
8. Alen Hanson, DH
9. Adam Engel, CF

Kevan Smith as cleanup hitter? Oh boy. You can't blame Sox manager Rick Renteria. He had only 10 healthy position players for this game. The only guy not in his lineup was the other catcher on the roster, Omar Narvaez.

Second baseman Yoan Moncada is day to day with a right quad bruise suffered in a nasty collision Monday night with right fielder Willy Garcia. That incident sent Garcia to the seven-day concussion list. The Sox already were minus their All-Star right fielder, Avisail Garcia. And Matt Davidson, who had two game-winning hits in as many days Sunday and Monday, also is day to day with a bruised right wrist after being hit by a pitch Tuesday night.

The Sox players who were not traded already have their work cut out for them trying to stay competitive in games, and the job has been made that much harder by this recent rash of injuries.

Happ (4-8) had been struggling coming into Wednesday, but he mostly cruised against this short-handed Sox lineup. He went seven innings, allowing one run. He struck out 10 and walked one for his first win since July 4. In his previous three games, he had 10 strikeouts *combined* in 17 innings.

But the Sox racked up 14 strikeouts against Happ and four Toronto relievers, and there was one stretch where 10 Sox batters in a row did not put the ball in play -- it was nothing but strikeouts and walks.

There's really not a whole helluva lot to analyze or talk about with this team at the moment. They are depleted. They are going to lose and lose a lot. There's no point in getting upset about it. As fans, we'll just have to wear it in the short run.


  1. 2018 will be darker.

    You will see a few more rookies brought up, and they will struggle as badly as Moncada, Engel, and Anderson have struggled. And people will think these prospects all suck and Hahn should be summarily fired.

    And all those people will be dead wrong. Some of the prospects eventually will improve, but it may not be until 2019. And some of them will never improve, which the typical idiot will use as proof that Hahn is incompetent. But Hahn knows this already which is why he traded stars for multiple prospects to have other guys ready to take the place of failures.

    Right now I'm sick of hearing people complaining that Reynaldo Lopez hasn't been promoted. He's already pitched a career high in innings - bringing him up now will only exceed that career high in innings with EVEN HIGHER STRESS innings! Do these people think he isn't going to fail initially??? When the Sox DO promote him this year he will be on a strict pitch limit, which means the bullpen will get taxed. So realistically they will consider a six-man rotation when Lopez is promoted yet they can't sacrifice bullpen spots. So they really would like to put the promotion off for another three weeks; that way they will have a full complement of relief pitchers when rosters expand.

  2. 2018 might be as dark, but it won't be darker than this second half is going to be. The Sox will be lucky to win 20 percent of their games the rest of the way. It's hard to do worse than the team is doing now, and really, it's not the players' fault. They just aren't good enough to win any games at this level.

    Lopez should be here. He might struggle initially, sure, but he can throw 4.1 innings just as well as Mike Pelfrey can, and whatever struggles he might have would serve him well in the long run. He is not being challenged at Triple-A.

  3. I assume Lopez will be called up for the doubleheader against Minnesota. Ten days later rosters can expand. He'd get at most one more start before that so it sounds reasonable.

    I don't want to watch Pelfrey anymore than you do, but his purpose is to be cannon fodder. Better him than overworking a prospect.

  4. Lopez isn't in danger of being overworked. He's thrown 116 innings this season. Last year, he threw 44 innings for Washington, 33 innings for Syracuse and 76.1 innings for Harrisburg for a total of 153.1 innings. You want prospects to make gradual progress toward 200 innings, so I think 170 innings would be good for Lopez this year. That means he could make nine more starts at six innings each before I'd cut him off. He's really not in any danger.

    There's no need to trot out cannon fodder when you have a young pitcher who is ready to test himself at the next level.